Pioneering Solutions for Depression and Bipolar Disorder

As many as 17 percent of Americans will experience some form of mood disorder in their lifetime—such as depression or bipolar disorder. Despite their prevalence, mood disorders remain one of the most widespread, misunderstood, and stigmatized health issues we face. Their impact reverberates far beyond an individual’s life. Families, friends, communities, economies—all are affected by these diseases. Depression now ranks first in rate of incidence among all illnesses worldwide; bipolar disorder ranks fifth. Tragically, suicide, often triggered by a mood disorder, takes more than one million lives worldwide every year.

Stanford Mood Disorders Center at a Glance

  • 1,000 inpatients per year
  • 8,000 total patients annually
  • 55 clinical trials completed since 2003
  • 1,000 undergraduates and 130 postdoctoral fellows trained between 2004 and 2017
  • 250 medical students per year
  • 200 leading-edge interdisciplinary research projects under way


Although the incidence and impact of mood disorders are undeniably on the rise, hope for solutions has never been higher. Through the Stanford Mood Disorders Center and Research Program, scientists and physicians are building on Stanford’s traditions of excellence, healing, and innovation. They are leveraging new knowledge of genetics and the brain’s molecular processes, and drawing on new techniques for imaging and healing the brain. Merging Stanford’s expertise across disciplines—psychiatry, biology, engineering, and myriad other fields—they are streamlining the process of translating laboratory discoveries into breakthrough treatments.

Through the research programs at the Stanford Mood Disorders Center, Stanford has led the quest for new knowledge and therapies for mood disorders. Today the center is expanding its reach and mobilizing Stanford’s diverse expertise toward a powerful shared mission: to overcome mood disorders through innovation and compassion.

Transformative Therapies & Technologies

Never before have we been so close to breakthroughs that will transform our approach
to mood disorders, delivering advanced solutions for sufferers, their families, their friends, and their communities. Stanford is leading the way in understanding brain processes and transforming new knowledge, rapidly and efficiently, into new therapies and technologies. 
Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

15th Annual Mood Disorders Education Day

Saturday, July 13, 2019

During the 15th Annual Mood Disorders Education Day, researchers from Stanford's Center for Mood Disorders delivered insightful talks to the Bay Area community on a wide array of topics -- ranging from discoveries in neuroscience, developmental and individual differences in mood and substance use disorders, and the promise for novel treatments. With over 200 members of the community in attendance, this event educated and conveyed hope by sharing the latest breakthroughs in science.

Check out the image gallery from the event below!